Tom Thibodeau has been resistant to idea of trading Jimmy Butler
Minnesota Timberwolves president and head coach Tom Thibodeau has been resisting the idea of trading his newly-acquired star forward Jimmy Butler, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. The marriage the two once had with the Chicago Bulls failed to click the same way in the Twin Cities during his first season with the team.
That fear was made a reality on Tuesday, as Butler informed Thibodeau of his intentions of seeking a trade, giving him and Wolves GM Scott Layden a one-to-three shortlist of teams he’d be open to sign with as a free agent.
“Thibodeau was initially resistant to the idea, according to sources, but Butler is determined to find a new home. The Timberwolves are scheduled to have media day on Monday and their first training camp practice on Tuesday, so the clock is ticking.”
Butler was Thibodeau’s idea of a culture reset in Minnesota, and he took his shot by trading two bright prospects in Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn. That gamble is about to come up empty when the Wolves trade Butler and gets less than what they expect, as teams will likely have the leverage knowing he wants to leave.
Butler’s decision to leave doesn’t have to do with his tiff with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, according to Krawczynski, but is rather more of a contractual matter, as the Timberwolves have to prioritize who to give a max-extension to: Towns or Butler, having already doled out a hefty $146.5 million to Wiggins over a five-year deal.